How to Grow Your Travel Website With SEO in 2022

Victoria Kurichenko

written by

Victoria Kurichenko

updated on

October 16, 2022

SEO for travel bloggers

A well-performing website offers travel companies, agencies, and individual bloggers many opportunities.

Businesses can sell their tours, promote exclusive tour programs, and measure the demand for new products and services. 

Bloggers with well-established travel websites can monetize their effort by running collaborations, accepting paid guest posts, and selling their products and services. 

Opportunities are endless. 

The only challenge is to build and grow a travel website. 

As a marketer, I can say that growing a website requires time, effort, money, and patience. 

If you follow the proven-to-work strategies, you’ll be able to achieve decent results in 1-2 years after launching your website. 

SEO for travel bloggers is one of the strategies that can help you continuously attract users from organic search. 

In this SEO guide for travel bloggers, I’ll show you how you can easily grow your website by targeting keywords with search traffic potential. I’ll also share some juicy keyword ideas you can use immediately to create high-ranking content.

How to do SEO for a travel website

I’ve researched some top-ranking posts and noticed that their SEO travel tips are somehow outdated. Inserting a keyword here and there won’t help you outrank competitors and reach the top positions on Google. 

That’s why this article is different.

As a marketer, I focus on proven-to-work strategies and results.

Here is the clickable table of contents for your convenience. 

Why do SEO

Did you know that over 46% of all product searches start on Google?

If people have a question, need a product review, or look for cheap flight tickets and the best summer deals, they will most likely go to Google. 

If you are a business or a solopreneur, you should aim to catch your target audience where they are.

If you only rely on social media while your audience is also on Google, you miss an opportunity to increase brand awareness and make sales. 

As a marketer, I know that search engine optimization is a long-term game. You won’t achieve quick results with SEO. 

However, SEO can be your reliable traffic acquisition channel if done correctly. 

If you want to improve SEO for your travel blog or learn how to do it from scratch, the following tips will be helpful for you. I use them to grow my website and help my clients attract customers from organic search. 

Set up your website for success

If you set up your website for success from the beginning, it will have a better chance of ranking high in search results. 

Here is what you should keep in mind before creating a website. 

1. Find a fast web hosting provider

Your website should exist somewhere on the Internet. That’s the job of web hosting providers. They “rent” you a place for a fee and let you and people worldwide access your website. 

If your website loading speed is low, users will most likely leave it. 

In fact, multiple research studies prove that the website should load within 3 seconds to ensure the best user experience. 

In a study commissioned by Google and conducted by 55 and Deloitte, decreasing mobile site load times by just one-tenth of a second resulted in major increases in conversion rates — specifically, 8.4% for retail sites and 10.1% for travel sites. 

Here comes the tricky part.

How to find reliable and fast web hosting providers?

Many top-ranking websites are paid for advertising by web hosting providers. Therefore, it’s hard to find the truth. 

You can either run experiments or read lots of pages and make a conclusion yourself. 

I used Bluehost from the beginning as it offered a lucrative offer for the WordPress website owner, starting at $2.95 per month. 

However, according to the Google page speed insights, my website loading speed was low.  

Later, I learned that Bluehost offered shared hosting, which means multiple websites are hosted on one particular server. It presupposes sharing resources with multiple website owners. That’s why shared hosting is affordable. 

If the server gets overloaded with too many requests, the response time may slow down, crashes might appear, and as a result, your website’s pages might load slowlier. 

I learned from my mistakes and then switched to managed web hosting by Cloudways

I pay roughly $13 per month for the managed web hosting, which means a hosting service provider leases me a dedicated server but manages the server themselves. The provider controls my server, conducts software and hardware maintenance, provides security, monitors activity, and takes care of backup services.

It’s expensive, but I was eager to pay for a smooth transition, responsive customer support, and a fast-loading website. 

Besides, Cloudways offers a 3-day trial without asking for a credit card. That’s how I switched temporarily, first and then permanently. 

2. Create an SEO-friendly website structure

An SEO-friendly website structure can help you achieve the following:

  • Improve indexability 
  • Improve website navigation
  • Create strategic internal linking

In other words, if you create your travel blog with SEO in mind, search engine bots will discover, crawl and add new pages to the main Index faster. 

Besides, clear navigation ensures that your users won’t be confused. They will consciously navigate around your website and find what they look for. 

Flat, deep, and pyramid website structures are widely used nowadays that you can easily replicate for your travel website—more on those and other helpful tips on how to create an SEO-friendly site structure here

flat vs deep website structure

3. Create a blog

As a marketer, I am convinced that every solid business or solopreneur should have a blog. 

A blog is a place where you can share your expert thoughts, articles, and guides to help your target audience solve their challenges. 

Furthermore, a blog serves an important role for any business — it helps attract the right audience from organic search. 

To achieve it, you must create high-quality and optimized content consistently.

For example, my brand new website grew from 0 to 2,000+ monthly users in a year! I worked on it a few hours a week only. Nevertheless, it ranks high for many target keywords and generates sales. 

Self Made Millennials website traffic growth

4. Invest in your website design

People say you can create a powerful website by spending $0 on it. I used to say the same thing.

In fact, I spent roughly $200 to launch my website because I paid for the WordPress installation services.

After two years of running a niche website, I learned the following:

Visual representation matters. People trust and buy from websites that look credible. 

Goodfirms conducted a survey showing that 38.5% of respondents would leave a website because of its outdated design. 

why users leave websites

If you run a travel blog or are a travel agency, you can’t afford to lose 38.5% of users because of a poor website design. It’s a lot.  Where will those users go? Correct! They will go to your competitors. 

Therefore, take some time to research the best design layouts and templates before investing in your travel website.

5. Come up with USP

USP stands for the unique selling proposition

USP can be strategies, services, pricing, product features, or even company values that differentiate your business from competitors. 

It helps your business understand what makes customers choose you instead of competitors. 

Karim Elganainy, an online marketing manager, visualized USP well in one of his articles:

unique selling proposition

If you are in the travel industry, where everyone sells tours, you might differentiate by selling birthday or holiday tours. 

This way, your potential customers will know what you focus on and when to reach out to you.

Differentiation helps new businesses survive in a competitive world.

Therefore, it’s a proven-to-work strategy before investing in a new travel website and buying expensive ads.

Find travel topics people care about

Keyword research is crucial to define topics with search traffic potential for your website. 

An SEO specialist can help you find juicy keyword ideas for your website that will help you rank high and attract the right audience for the website. 

Ignoring this essential step might lead your business to a state where money and energy are wasted without any output. 

If you care about SEO for your travel website and want to create content that hits the Google front page, here is what you should do, step-by-step.

1. Generate topic ideas

This is where your mind can wander and generate any ideas. Even the craziest thoughts are welcome since they can be good ones.

Have you collected a few ideas? Great! Let me show you how you can validate them.

2. Validate your topic ideas

This step serves a vital role — It should help you discover topics people search for on Google or any other search engine. 

It might happen that people don’t use your phrases and words but look for the same things differently. For instance, instead of “summer tours,” they might search for “summer destinations.” 

The search intent is slightly different in both cases. However, you can easily create content about summer destinations and advertise your offers. 

Therefore, you should know how your audience searches for your products and services. 

Luckily, there is a proven way to check any topic’s potential. 

As a marketer, I’ve used this method for years to help my clients find topics with search traffic potential and grow my website.

Let me show you how you can do it for your travel blog with a free Semrush account.

Here is what Semrush shows for the “travel kits” keyword.

The global volume or how many people search for this keyword globally every month is 11.8k. It’s a lot! The majority of searches come from India and United States.

Semrush says it’s a relatively competitive keyword because its keyword difficulty is 45 out of 100. 

seo for travel blog keyword analysis

Semrush uses various factors to define the keyword difficulty, like a median number of referring domains to a ranking URL, the presence of a featured snippet or an instant answer section, etc. You can learn more about it here.

Semrush categorizes all keyword difficulties into 6 groups:

  • 0–14: Very easy to rank for
  • 15–29: Easy
  • 30–49: Possible 
  • 50–69: Difficult
  • 70–84: Hard
  • 85–100: Very hard

If your website is new and does not have an established authority (domain rank), you might want to focus on keywords with 0–29 keyword difficulty. These are the low competition keywords. According to my experience, you’ll be able to hit the top 10 Google search results even without link building. 

What are other options if the “travel kits” keyword is relatively expensive? 

Semrush has three reports designed to help you discover low competition keywords:

  1. Keywords variations
  2. Questions
  3. Related Keywords

The best keywords for your website should have low competition with decent search volumes of 100+.

The higher the search volumes, the better your chances of attracting the target audience to your website. 

Follow this strategy to assess topics using Semrush. They have a free version with ten free searches per day. 

You can also try Ahrefs Keyword Generator, another powerful marketing toolkit, and a Semrush alternative. 

3. Prioritise selected topics

How to choose what to write about if you have 10–20 different topics? What if you have even more?

Ideas are endless, while resources are limited. That’s why you should prioritize.

How can you prioritize content writing topics if you run a travel blog or a travel agency?

I’ve used Ahrefs’ prioritization strategy for SaaS, B2B companies, and even my own website. 

The main goal is to prioritize topics with business potential. In other words, start with topics that can bring you the highest returns.

Ahrefs’ topics prioritization strategy

Explore these untapped keywords

I am passionate about keyword and competitor research. 

Therefore, I collected some low and middle-competition keywords to help you do SEO for your travel blog.

These keywords are collected using Ahrefs. Therefore, the data can be slightly different from Semrush. 

Keyword difficulty gives an estimation of how hard it is to rank in the top 10 organic search results for a keyword on a 100-point scale. 

Search volume is an estimation of the number of searchers for a keyword over the latest month. 

Keyword difficulty and search volumes together can help you make a preliminary decision on whether it’s feasible for your website to rank high for a particular keyword. 

As a next step, review the keywords from the table below, decide which ones are suitable for your business, and add them to your content production plan. 

Analyze what already ranks high in search results, get inspired, and write an optimized content piece. 

If everything is done well, you can expect your content to rank within a few days to one week after publication. 

Please note that following SEO writing rules is extremely important to optimize your content.

There is so much controversial information about SEO out there. That’s why I created an SEO writing guide to share my proven-to-work process of writing content that hits the Google front page. 

Without further ado, here is the table with 32 keyword ideas and their metrics analyzed in July 2022.

I hope you’ll find these ideas helpful and inspiring.

Keyword Keyword Difficulty Volume USA
leather travel bags for men 10 1400
kids travel bags 14 1100
travel kits for women 7 450
travel pillows 31 7300
cheap places to travel in december 35 350
family travel tips 32 5000
budget travel tips 34 3000
hawaii travel tips 24 450
business travel tips 15 200
cancun travel tips 8 250
cat travel tips 26 200
holiday travel tips 21 90
solo travel destinations 40 2200
solo travel quotes 13 600
boston boat cruise 18 1100
boat cruise nyc 16 800
birthday travel ideas 27 300
backpacker travel insurance 17 100
underrated travel destinations 23 250
safest countries to travel 36 200
cheapest countries to travel in europe 23 100
iphone travel apps 48 250
travel gifts for women 9 2700
travel gifts for men 9 1700
unique travel gifts 21 900
travel gifts for couples 1 600
indonesian tourist attraction 21 900
turkey tourist attraction 24 700
travel costs to hawaii 13 150
weekend trips from los angeles 23 1000
spain digital nomad visa 8 600
digital nomad jobs 34 3100

SEO tips for travel websites

As a marketer, I’ve been creating optimized content for years.

If I only could give you a few fundamentally essential SEO tips for your travel blog, this would be it.

1. Analyze search intent

Search intent is the why behind users’ search queries. 

Whenever you google anything, you want to get answers to a particular question. It’s Google’s job to figure out what you want and serve you with the most relevant search results at a time. 

It’s tough to do because Google is a machine, not a human. Besides, Google claims that 15% of all searches have never been searched before. 

15% of all google searches are new

That’s why engineers “teach” Google to understand search intent.

The top 10 search results for any keyword are considered the most relevant web pages by Google that answer users’ queries. 

Whenever you want to create an optimized piece of content but are unsure what to write about, examine what’s already on top. It will give you some hints. 

Let me show you an example with the “best travel agencies” keyword. 

According to Semrush, these are the top 10 search results for the target keyword in the USA:

SERP in Semrush for the best travel agencies keyword

Have you reviewed the URLs and noticed anything interesting? 

All top ten results are listicles! 

Google believes people want to see comparisons and reviews for the “best travel agencies” keyword. 

Therefore, trying to shoehorn a landing page there won’t bring any results unless you spend lots of money and time.

Although I used Semrush to show the top 10 search results, you can simply google your query and see what’s there. 

2. Include keywords in the right spots

Keyword research helps you discover widely used search terms, while on-page optimization enables you to optimize your content.

There are specific rules to follow if you want your content to rank. 

It’s not rocket science; anyone can do it with proven-to-work strategies. However, we have a challenge here. There are so many online resources with on-page optimization checklists, which is confusing. 

The top-ranking results are not necessarily the best ones. They are usually better optimized, but the content might be almost identical. 

I took paid and free online courses and read dozens of articles to finally understand what works. 

I developed my own on-page optimization strategies, which you can find in detail in this ebook about SEO writing. You can also find a brief SEO optimization checklist in this article

I don’t cover the on-page optimization strategies in this post because it will be very long. I hope the resources mentioned above will help you do on-page SEO for your travel blog. 

3. Build relevant backlinks

According to Ahrefs, Backlinko, Semrush, and many other reputable resources, the number of backlinks is one of the most crucial ranking factors. 

The strength of the backlink profile is called a domain rank or DR. 

Established websites with high DR usually rank higher in search results because Google trusts them. They are more likely to be in the top ten if they publish optimized content. 

Those websites did not create a good reputation overnight. It takes time to acquire new and relevant backlinks that help boost DR.

Aside from SEO writing efforts, it’s crucial to dedicate time to build high-quality backlinks to your travel website. That’s how its authority will grow.

Moreover, higher DR will let you target more competitive keywords. So, don’t skip this vital step.

4. Never compromise quality 

If your travel blog ranks somewhere on top, people will notice you. However, if your content is shallow, they will leave and might never come back.

Keeping new users is as important as acquiring them.

You can only keep people’s attention if your content 

  • Is relevant to them
  • Teaches them something new
  • Gives a promise in a title and delivers on that promise
  • Is not copied from somewhere
  • Is well-structured 
  • Tells a story
  • Presents solutions to peoples’ problems 

Please, don’t create meh content. We have enough of it. Brainstorm what might be interesting and helpful to your audience, and take some time to create a masterpiece. Your audience will thank you.

Victoria Kurichenko

Hello there! 

My name is Victoria.
I am an SEO expert, Medium top writer, solopreneur, and the founder of Self Made Millennials. I help companies create optimized content and attract potential customers through organic search results. In addition, I share how content creators can monetize their writing skills.

Grab my SEO writing guide
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3 Responses

  1. Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?

    I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but
    I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    1. Hi Mariano,

      Thank you for reading my blog post. I built this website with WordPress. I believe it’s the easiest and most convenient CMS (content management system). The layout is a simple WordPress template with a standard design. Now that my website had reached a certain level in terms of traffic, I started working on its redesign.

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